Web Stories Tuesday, February 27

Physical activity keeps the heart and circulatory system healthy and provides protection against numerous chronic diseases that affect the body and mind. It also strengthens muscles, which can reduce older people’s risk of falls.

“If we spend some of our adult years building up our muscle mass, our strength, our balance, our cardiovascular endurance, then as the body ages, you’re starting from a stronger place for whatever is to come,” said Dr Anna Chang, a professor of medicine specialising in geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The best exercise is any activity you enjoy doing and will stick with. You don’t have to do a lot, either – the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, meaning just walking a little more than 20 minutes a day is beneficial.

2. EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

The experts didn’t recommend one specific diet over another, but they generally advised eating in moderation and aiming for more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. The Mediterranean diet – which prioritises fresh produce in addition to whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil – is a good model for healthy eating, and it’s been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

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